Adieu 2019.

Well, it’s been an eventful year, to say the least.

I’ve been doing a lot more visual arts this year, so I thought I’d do a month-by-month, blow-by-blow, pictorial representation of my year. (Lucky you.)

Actually, the reason behind it is to see if/how the images/moods have changed over the course of the year. And how that might correlate to my mental health.

As some of you know, I volunteer for an arts charity called Arc, (Arts for Recovery in the Community), which works with people with mental health issues. I am an ardent advocate of the arts as a medium to treat mental health, and wellbeing in general.

Many years ago, I visted the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and you could see the gradual decline in his mental health through his work.

Whilst I’m no Van Gogh, I am trying to see if there are any similar patterns to my own work.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

And before I forget; Have a Happy New Year and an absolutely spectacular 2020.

JANUARY

Oh dear… that’s not a good start.

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FEBRUARY

That’s a bit more positive. Birthday trip to Haworth, West Yorkshire, (home of the Brontes’), with my daughters.

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MARCH

Pros: Part of an Arc exhibition. Cons: Became homeless.

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APRIL

Ee, it’s grim up north. Charcoal sketch of an L.S. Lowry.

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MAY

“Are you sure you’re all right?”

Rehomed.

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JUNE

Think I can see a pattern emerging.

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JULY

Rehab.

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AUGUST

I guess a lot of things are obvious in hindsight.

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ME4

SEPTEMBER

The road to recovery.

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OCTOBER

Signs of improvement.

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NOVEMBER

Apart from my volunteer work at Arc, I started facilitating a Creative Writing Workshop at The Wellspring homeless charity in Stockport.

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burst

There are always reminders.

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DECEMBER

A change of outlook.

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As you can see, it’s been a tumultuous year.

I feel very fortunate to be able to experience the last day of it. That would not have been possible were it not for the actions of my dear friend, Siobhan Costigan, over in Australia. Her, and my friends, family, NHS, Stepping Hill Hospital, Pathfinder, AA, The Wellspring and Arc have all played their part in saving my life and helping me to recover. And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

As of 31/12/2019, I am 140 days abstinent. I feel completely blessed that I have been able to experience 140 days on Earth with my daughters, family and friends that I might not have been able to. I am truly a lucky man.

I wish you all a magnificent 2020; may the forthcoming decade bring you everything that you hope and dream for.

 

Addendum.

If you, or a loved one, are going through a difficult time, there are organisations out there who can help. Reaching out isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength that you have managed to hold on this far. And remember, if things get so bad, go to your nearest A&E dept., they will take care of you just like any other patient.

The Samaritans call 116 123

NHS call 111 or 999

Alcoholics Anonymous call 0800 917 7650

17 Comments

Filed under Art, Children, community, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Education, health, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, Literature, love, Medicine, mental health, Nature, nhs, Philosophy, Photography, Poetry, Uncategorized, Writing

17 responses to “Adieu 2019.

  1. That’s quite a brave thing – looking back over the year through pictures. The only similar thing I’ve ever done/found was with handwriting and book reading. I write down the books I read and in a particularly troublesome year, my handwriting changed. The bad months are also often when I read most! I can hide in books. Let’s hope next year is a mid pitched year for all of us in blog land, lots of positive art and reading! Happy New Year. Don’t forget to let the old year out the backdoor.

  2. This post is emotional for me to read. I am feeling for you. And happy you are where you are. Looking forward to 2020. We will all walk together.

    • I hope I didn’t upset you Claudia. Apologies if I did. I hope you have a blessed 2020.

      • Oh no, not at all, I was very moved by your story, that is what I meant. I have some understanding of what it is to crawl up out of a hole. Every step away from it, they do add up. And I think your art as a reflection of your life, that is very brave to do that. Here is to a good 2020!

  3. Dave you are very brave and very talented. I always admired you for your wit and good humor.
    There are a few people i admire and follow on you tube -and who have helped me make sense of the world- Gabor maté is one of my favorites. He proposes that all addicts (I’m not saying you’re one) have witnessed or gone through childhood trauma- this is without exception. He is fascinating on this and other topics. Have a look and see what you think. Also eckhart tolles book ‘a new earth’ is revelatory- but only if you’re ready to read it.
    Cait

    • Hi Cait, Happy New Year to you and your family. And thank you for your kind words. It’s spooky that you mention those two names as another friend of mine has just introduced me to both of those people. I recently watched a podcast with Russell Brand and Gabriel Mate which I thought was really good. I am an addict! 🙂 And my friend also bought me a copy of Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A new earth’ which I’m looking forward to reading. All I can hope for is for others to seek help if they are struggling with addiction and/or mental illness. I didn’t really intend on being so open about it until I inadvertantly posted on Facebook last August. I guess, once the ‘secret’ was out, it seemed only right to try and help destigmatise it when I know how prevalent the conditions are. Anyway, I wish you a blessed 2020 and decade beyond. With fondest wishes, Davex.

  4. Simon Nutt

    Brave as always Dave. It was good to see you last month. Now draw me Elland Road under the floodlights (that’s a personal request)! 🙂

  5. Anonymous

    Good on you Dave. Still haven’t forgiven you for that softball incident though! Take care, Tony

  6. Just realised I missed your previous post on what happened, so I’m glad I didn’t miss this one. Words don’t suffice here, as you set out in your post, so suffice to say – great pictures, and wishing you all the very best in 2020.

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